City shuts down two wells to investigate dioxane contamination

Columbus City Utilities officials have shut down two wells south of the city’s wastewater treatment plant after testing revealed positive readings for the man-made chemical 1,4 dioxane.

The wells, south of the treatment plant nearest to the East Fork White River, were taken offline by the city after a second round of testing results obtained this week showed that the 1,4 dioxane was detectable from the wells, according to a report on the city utilities website.

The chemical, used in industrial and commercial applications, commonly shows up as an impurity in household and personal care products. It is used as a solvent by many industries, including pharmaceutical and cosmetics production, and is also used to stabilize other solvents inside containers.

City officials are evaluating how to determine the source of the contamination and what needs to be done to the wells, said Keith Reeves, city utilities director.

For more on this story, see Wednesday’s Republic.

Author photo
Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at or (812) 379-5631.